Watching over our hearts and common sense

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Devotional Word for Wednesday, August 19, 2020

When viewing the current news and events in our country, we can see that common sense is in short supply. Just think about the division that exists over how we are asked to combat a virus. We are guided by government and medical officials, using problematic testing data, coupled with an elusive ideal for safety, to eliminate risk by complying with policies that are of far greater risk, leading us down a path to ethical and financial instability. Businesses are closed or operate below normal profitable margins, while dependency on government subsidies increase, which drives our national debt into ever-growing deficits. Is there any common sense to this course of action?

Many families are being stretched beyond limits, being impoverished because adults are out of work; their children are banned from standardized education in schools. They are losing health insurance and can no longer afford medical treatments or prescription costs, so they do without.

They cannot afford to buy food or pay bills, so they wait in long lines to receive food goods as they wait for government relief checks. Political wrangling and deadlock among legislators have generated confusion to make common sense decisions for our citizens.

In Proverbs 4:20-27 we see how godly wisdom equips us with genuine common sense to deal with the complexities of life. First, we are taught to pay attention to the words of wisdom. How are we to do this? By using our ears and eyes to listen and focus on receiving wisdom from God and then retaining godly wisdom in our hearts. “Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart.” V20-21

The consequence of acquiring godly wisdom is a course leading to an enduring life and natural good health. “For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body.” V22

Second, we are told to watch over our hearts with all diligence; for the heart is the reservoir of the wisdom we receive from God; it is where the collection of godly instruction is stored and preserved for boundless life applications. “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” V23

Our Lord Jesus in Luke 6:45 said, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”

We need to ask ourselves, what are we filling our hearts with each day? Is it good or evil treasure? Is it the wisdom of the world or the wisdom of God?

In 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, the Apostle Paul outlines how the wisdom of the world is contrary to the wisdom of God, and how by the wisdom of the world people do not come to know God and in shared pursuits they reject the wisdom of God found in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. God’s wisdom proclaimed in the Gospel of Christ is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles; “… but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. … But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom of God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the LORD.”

As this Proverb passage points out, what we put in our hearts comes out; or in the vernacular of today we would say, “garbage in garbage out!”.

From our hearts we regulate our speech.  “Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you.” V24

From our hearts we monitor what we view. “Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.” V25

From our hearts we govern our behavior. “Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established.” “Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil.” V26-27Therefore, when we draw from a godly reservoir of wisdom, deposited in our hearts, we will become godly in our speech, in our viewing, and in our behavior. As these principles are practiced daily by God’s grace and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will stand up for true common sense in this world of polarizing nonsense.